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The Black Mountains, Free Province of

by Michael Berry

AC 1000

AC 1014

Area:
AC 1000 - 3,192 sq. miles
AC 1014 - 3,584 sq. miles (1,008 sq. miles borderlands)

Population: (borderland population density 5 per sq. mile, +50% for river)
AC 1000 - 3,864
AC 1014 - 7,762

Ethnic Groups:
AC 1000- Aalbanese 35%, Averoignans 25%, Flaem 15%, Alphatian 8%, Hattian 7%, Kaelic 6%, Lupin 3%, Other 1%
AC 1014 - Aalbanese 32%, Averoignans 20%, Flaem 13%, Hattian 8%, Sindhi 8%, Kaelic 6%, Wendarian Human 6%, Alphatian 4%, Lupin 2%, Other 1%

Selected Villages:
AC 1000 (population values are given for AC 1000 and AC 1014)
Hirsberg: (275/225) is a small village rising near the Iron Mines of Graez. Populated by pure-Hattian families only, it is the administrative seat of the province.

Falkenberg-Habichthügel: (200/175) is a mining community, supporting the nearby obsidian mines located just across the river from Adlerturm.

Knutval: (125/-) is located deep in the Northern Mountains approximately 24 miles west of Uigmuir, it’s home to the rebels.

AC 1014 (villages in newly annexed borderland areas)
Tranzault (367): is a commercial village and the new seat of the Free Province, in the new borderlands region of the province, on the Verdun River some 24 miles to the northwest of Loupmont in the Principality of Morlay-Malinbois.
Eisental (150): located along the Verdun River and the border with the Barony of Brulefer this is a farming community founded by a large group of Wendarian immigrants.

Government:
Propraetor appointed by the Council of Princes, for seven year renewable terms. Seat at Hirsberg (AC1000-1012). Seat at Tranzault after AC 1012.

Administrator:
AC 1000 Propraetor Ernst von Drachenfels (born 926, F2, AL -N). Appointed AC 988. Retired AC 1010.
AC 1014 Propraetor Chiara Ulleri (born 961, M6, Al- L) Appointed in AC1010

House:
AC 1000 - aligned with House Ritterburg.
AC 1014 - aligned with House Marais

Territory:
The Black Mountain Free Province (BMFP) is bordered by the Western Wendarian Free Province to the north and the Moulins Free Province to the south. It sets between the Principality of Aalban and Adri Varma Peninsula.

Food:
Self Sufficient.

Trails:
The main trail in the BMFP is the Great Wendarian caravan trail, which Tranzault sits upon, winds north in the valley between the Black Mountains and the Great Plateau. It is rated as fair by Glantrian AAA. It has seen steadily increasing volume of traffic between Glantri and Wendar since the end of the Great War. A fair trail leads to Loupmont from Tranzault. Several trails go through the mountains. The most prominent is the fair trail connects Hirsberg to the Iron Mines and Graez. A poor trail crosses the southern neck of the FP, connecting the Principalities of Morlay-Malinbois and Aalban. The Verdun River coming out of the Barony of Brulefer is swift, shallow, narrow and is not navigable to any kind of river transport.

Economics:
The economics of the BMFP have changed substantially in the last decade as the province has shifted from being purely a mining based producer of raw material to a more balanced one with the annexation of the unclaimed borderlands between Glantri and the Adri Varma Plateau. With the annexation and the resulting near doubling of the BMFP’s population agriculture has become nearly as important as the many mines located in the Black Mountains.

Mining is still most important though and aggressive mining still persists in the still largely mountainous province. Iron and Obsidian mines provides a substantial mineral income from the Province and give it’s people good steady employment. The opening of the borderlands along with increased migration from Sind and from Wendar have given the province a solid agricultural basis as well as providing a greater labor force for exploiting the natural resources of the region.

Notable People:
Propraetor Chiara Ulleri is the older sister of Asadel Haaskinz (formerly Asadel Ulleri) the wife of the Prince of Sablestone Harald Haaskinz. Chiara entered the Glantrian Bureaucracy after passing the entrance exam and especially noted for her linguistic expertise. She speaks 3 languages fluently (Thyatian, Averoignian, Elf) and 3 others proficiently (Alphatian, Sindhi, and Belcadiz). She has served in various positions all over Glantri and finally made the top echelon of her field when she was selected as the Propraetor of The Three Fires Free Province in AC 996. After she served 2 7 year terms there she was assigned to the BMFP, as the Council recognized the challenges of administering such a growing and diverse province was beyond the capacity of the current Propraetor. Within the Glantrian Bureaucracy she is considered a competent leader and administrator who knows how to handle difficult assignments. In the minds of the Princes of the Council she is considered one of the prime candidates to step up into the top 3 administrative assignments in the Free Territories branch of the government. It is expected that the Propraetor of the Nyra Free Province is going to retire when his term is completed, and some think Chiara will be chosen to lead that vital and challenging Province.
Chiara is related by marriage to Prince Harald and though never close to him she had been appreciative of his support since he became a member of Council. However Chiara is close to her sister and now harbors hatred toward the Prince for Asadel’s obvious unhappiness and despondent nature. She would not hesitate if the opportunity presented itself to somehow get back at Harald for the pain he has caused Chiara’s sister. A chance encounter on a hunting trip in BMFP territory near the border of Morlay-Malinbois in AC 1010 has opened new doors for Chiara. She was attacked by a werewolf and infected with Lycanthropy. Word of the attack reached Prince Malachie who took Chiara under his wing and showed her all the doors the ‘disease’ has opened for her. After a period of adjustment to her new condition Chiara has come to love her secret life and now counts Prince Malachie as a friend, and supporter.
Chiara has never had much time for a personal life but in between social visits, in the guise of professional visits, she has met and became quite friendly not only with Prince Malachie but his charming sister Suzanne. Perhaps the most important bright spot in her life has been meeting a wizard, Bitupon Bujarbarua (born in AC 958 M23 Al-Lawful), who has recently settled in Tranzault from the nation of Sind. Chiara has fallen in love with the tall, handsome, and powerful Sindhi wizard. When work does not keep her out of Tranzault she spends all her free time with Bitupon. She has not told him of her affliction yet, but suspects he will still accept and love her due to his pragmatic nature.

Notable Sites:
Tranzault is a new village formed in the last decade to help facilitate trade with Wendar and new dominions to the north. Caravans supply for the long lonely journey through the far western regions of Glantri. The village has a sizeable Sindhi population that has recently emigrated from the troubled northern regions of Sind. They keep to themselves for the most part, with the notable exception of a powerful wizard who led their journey east. He has a manor just outside the town and has become quite close with the Propraetor.

Knutval is a small village in the mountains near the source of the river. Inhabitants coming from the Baronies of Uigmuir and Adlerturm founded this village around 955 AC, during their Baronial Curse. Its home to a small group of rebels that might be mistaken as being part of the FFF or of the FoC, but they are too isolated from the civilized lands to have contact with any of these groups. Their main goal is to fight the Magocracy but in reality, they have proved to be quite harmless, until they were suspected of the sabotage of Graez Iron Mines and of Der Alte Bridge few years ago. In AC 1010 Prince Jagger led an expedition from Fort Nordling and put the village to the torch and killed all that opposed them and scattered the rest.

The Brandenburg Iron mine several miles inside the BMFP border with Aalban and to the north of Graez is one of the largest iron ore mines in all of Glantri. Employing, at its peak, nearly 100 workers and 20 mages, it is one of the largest employers in the BMFP. The mine was partially collapsed during the Great War when an Alphatian terrorist Meteor Swarmed the mine entrance, killing some 20 workers but more importantly (for Glantri) reducing the mines iron ore output to near zero. The mine has just recently been fully reopened and it is expected that production will meet, if not exceed pre-war production in the next couple of years.

Useful Links:
The Western Free Province by Thibault Sarlat, Giovanni Porpora, and Agathokles.
PC4 Night Howlers by Ann Dupuis
Asadel Haaskinz by Jennifer Guerra